The National Youth Service scheme was established by the Republic of Nigeria in 1973 when first batch of corps members were mobilized as corps members. The scheme consists of a large work-force of enlightened Nigerian youths most especially graduates of Nigerians higher institutions all over the country. The scheme which was set up to curb the socio-economic cultural and political conditions existing from the thirty months of civil war has been working with the objectives of promoting national unity and integration by reducing the level of ethnicity and secularism, strengthening common ties among Nigerians with different backgrounds and instilling a sense of patriotism and responsibility in Nigerian youths.
However, one of the most important arms of the NYSC is the Community Development Service (CDS). The community development service can be seen as an important tool or medium to impact humanity positively. Thus. it is an arm of the NYSC that is charged with the responsibility of propagating the objectives of the scheme, enhancing rural and urban development through Nigerian graduates and promoting an act of responsibility by Nigerian graduates in affecting their immediate environment positively As John F. Kennedy once said which was also quoted by Bill Clinton upon his visit to Nigeria in 1998 ‘It is not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.
The NYSC therefore, through the CDS, is a tool for Nigerian graduates to emancipate humanity at the grassroots from ignorance. induce positive change through selfless service and collectively work towards nation building.
Furthermore. the NYSC has been achieving these aims and objectives through the Community Development Service Groups (CDSGs). For instance. the NYSC CDS has many different functional groups in all the States of the federation, which work to carry out on foster positive change through selfless service. Some of the selfless service includes free medical care in communities. care and assistance to orphanages and’ homes, free workshops, seminars, sensitization and campaigns to list a few.
in the same way, corps members have also carried out personal community development services and all these work collectively to ensure visible community development in all State. It is also important to note that the government and people of the state where corps members are posted to, have also worked cooperatively with corps members in their communities to realize and achieve great results.
Despite obvious challenges faced by Nigerian graduates. the true essence of community development service through the NYSC scheme is being realized. Thus, the worth, importance, relevance and positive effects of the National Youth Service Corps scheme through Community Development Service can not be overemphasized.